View Full Version : My first Pontil

07-30-2013, 01:06 PM
Been looking for a long time, finally decided to pull the trigger and get a demijohn. Its 18" tall and has quite a lean on it. No seams. Tubular (or at least I think that's what you call it) pontil. This bottle is veeeeery crude, lots of pot-stones, waves, whittle and stretch marks. But its in great condition. I can see how these could be addicting.


07-30-2013, 01:07 PM


07-30-2013, 01:08 PM


RED Matthews
07-30-2013, 01:50 PM
Well Congratulations are all I can say! That looks like a great one. I detected that you are new to bottle collecting, to some extent. It is always interesting to me to get my calipers and measure the diameter of the neck below the finish. Then measure the outside diameter of the bottles tube pontil. If they are the same, it tells you that the blowpipe from the bottlemakers previous demi was used as the handle for making this one. And more than likely that bottles blowpipe will be the empontilling handle for the next one he makes. The glass ends on the blow pipes were kept hot by lying them on a ledge with the glass circle kept hot near the glory hole of the glass furnace.
Please go to my homepage and read about some of my demijohns. I must have at least thirty or more of them. It is interesting to study all the types of them that exist. I never found a loaf of bread demi that I could afford. I have a lot of different styles from a big six or seven gallon free blown, to demi's that were made in wood, ceramic and iron molds- and three part molds, where the bottom portion was a dip mold assembly with a bottom plate and the shoulders were formed in two pull back - tilting out - mold sections.
As you will see, I have evaluated the making marks for straightening the necks, cooling the glass hot zones. and always watching for marks that are a bottlemaking mystery marks.

The hobby is very addictive. so enjoy it - I have for 76 years now. RED Matthews

07-31-2013, 04:21 PM

Thank you for the information. I have enjoyed looking at your website, a lot of great information. You are right on the money with the diameter of the pontil in conjunction with the neck!

I am now on the lookout to get demijohns with different types of pontils.


RED Matthews
07-31-2013, 05:03 PM
Well Skyler; I just wanted to tell you about a problem with a limiting factor to the open pontil created by using the previous blowpipe. The larger ones they had to make required a lot more glass weight. I am sure it took a hell-of-a-man, to hold the gather for a six gallon or larger demijohn up in the air and turn it as he blowed the initial puff for his goal.

But when it came to empontilling those larger ones they had to use punty rods of much larger diameter and perriferie contact to carry the weight while they applied and tooled the finishes.

I know that some strange bar type punty's were used on some of those I have showed on my homepage.

If you ever get too the Corning Glasss Musium, they have a couple displays regarding the glass cylinders the blew and flattened for early window glass. If you haven't been there - it should be on your desired list of TO DO's.

RED Matthews

07-31-2013, 11:14 PM
Very nice piece, congrats...

08-01-2013, 07:11 AM
ORIGINAL: Skycollect

...I can see how these could be addicting.

You got that right, and yours is a heckuva start.

RED Matthews
01-14-2015, 08:37 PM
Back at you Skyler; It has been a while. I have some 15 demi's here in my Bottle Den. I have some in storage, some in NY, and when I get to it I will put together another blow for my homepage. With the ones I have here I have several different pontil and punty rod concepts, some which were made in two and three part molds, The three part ones are where the two shoulder sides opened up for lifting the glass out of the lower dip part which had a bottom plate. Many of them have applied finishes of the straight tapered tooled type, Some have different cooling bar marks. One I had on my home page has a clamp tool mark on the neck, where had to straighten the neck. I have one made in a wooden mold, one made in a ceramic or soap stone mold, one with wicker cover and handle on the neck. I also have two here that were what are considered Mid-Western because of the unique designs and coloring, I never did get a loaf of bread demijohn - they have always been out of my budget zones. I do have a nice five foot iron blowpipe and six glass parade cranes and a one that I watched the made at a glass factory. I also have 9 shelves of mostly hand and mouth blown bottles and products and 4 shelves of black glass, ancient age gin; and other glass bottles. It is a mess of books, papers,boxes etc. But it fits my crazy interest in early glass making. RED Matthews email <bottlemysteries@yahoo.com>

RED Matthews
02-07-2015, 12:24 PM
Hello 'Skyler, I enjoy marbles and have a little wooden box with a hooked hinge top that contains stone marbles. This set belonged to my Grandfather, when he was a little boy. I also have an old train engine toy that was his. I also have some antique toys that were my Dad's. I have in my toy collection my first toy, which was a little race car, made by Hubbley. I used top take the driver out of it. I also collect antique banks. My better half collects glass vases and dishes, and of course at this point in life I guess I have around two thousand pieces of early glass making tools and products. When I finally kick the bucket,my daughter and my wife will have to peddle the spoils. I just get a lot of satisfaction out of looking at them and showing them to our friends. Life is brittle and tough in old ag4, but it is better than looking at grass rots. Enjou it. RED Matthews

RED Matthews
03-06-2015, 01:55 PM
My daughter Connie has brought a half a dozen boxes from one of her storage garages - that she is trying to give up because of the rent costs. So I have been digging through them and making write ups of assigned numbers tagged on the bottles she will have to sell when I have gone to the subsoil box - to look for grass roots. Some of them fare old dug med bottles that I got from neigoring farm homes up in New York. One is a rectangular clear glass that measures 5-3/4" high with a 2-1/4" neck. One panel is embossed with "/ H I T " One of the wide panels is embossed with: "/ ELMIRA, N. Y. The glass is so clean and neat one would think it was made yesterday. The 1/4" finish was applied and tooled down another 1/4" on the neck. The bottom gives no clues of who made it and tere is no sign of empontilling marking.'All I can do is guess at a value and appreciate it's beauty. RED Matthews

03-12-2015, 12:25 AM
Congrats, nice one: I too have an addiction to demi's. This big 3-piece mold john is my favorite bottle I have ever owned. Though no where near the most valuable. [attachment=cc.JPG][attachment=kk.JPG]

RED Matthews
03-13-2015, 01:55 PM
That is a beauty. I like to see those large diameter pontil push-up bottoms.Thanks for getting back to me. RED M.

RED Matthews
04-04-2015, 03:59 PM
Hi again, I just re-read this post, and noticed that you said it was a three piece mold. I have to ask, Is the lass rougher looking with variable glass thickness in the bottom section of the demi? RED Matthews <bottlemysteries@yahoo.com>

04-12-2015, 02:52 PM
I don't think so Red. Kinda looks like the mold might have been 3 hammered metal plates. Not sure.BTW, will you be in Roch NY on April 19th for GVBC show? I could bring it.

04-13-2015, 04:50 AM
That thing is a beauty.